I was coming off the disappointing Curse of Downers Grove and felt things couldn’t get much worse when I decided to watch Lost After Dark, a low budget slasher movie. I turned out to be very very wrong. Compared to Lost After Dark, Downers Grove is a damn near-masterpiece.
I didn’t actually expect it to be any good, though I was hoping the film would surprise me as I had rather quite enjoyed 2003’s Wrong Turn, a similar sort of movie about a bunch of young people who find themselves being hunted down by a bunch of cannibalistic inbreeding freaks.
Wrong Turn was not generally well-received, but I remember it being tense and scary. Lost After Dark was the complete opposite. As a homage to 80s slasher flicks, the premise is that a group of young people find themselves lost after a vehicle breakdown, and soon after the carnage begins.
Apart from moronic cardboard characters, the film suffers from a distinct lack of genuine scares or intriguing developments. A big reason is the laughably designed killer, who looks more like a parody than someone you ought to be running from. And while the film doesn’t take itself too seriously, it’s not exactly tongue-in-cheek enough to be fun either. Throw in some tame, unimaginative killings, bad acting and a “keep gettin’ ’em cheques” performance from Robert Patrick in more or less an cameo role, and what you end up with is film that’s bad but not consciously bad enough to be “so bad it’s good.”
I understand the aim was replicate that retro 80s slasher vibe, though the problem is that the vast majority of such films from that era were actually really terrible. Why you would want to aspire to recreate that without trying to surprise us with something different or intelligent is beyond me.
0.5 stars out of 5